The Amaro Montenegro Global Champion 2019
Updated: Mar 29
The new GLOBAL CHAMPION & The Vero Bartender of 2019 sponsored by Amaro Montenegro is none other than Marcus Fredriksson from Malmo in Sweden . The winning cocktail is called the 'Around the Corner' & beat out 12 other global finalists from all the world. An outstanding performance that blew the judges away & a cocktail like no other (find the recipe below). Cocktails For You were on hand to capture all the details of the competition & bring them to you live from Milan!
The Vero Bartender The concept behind the 2019 competition was focused around the idea of 'Human Spirit' that bartending a profession is unique at its core due to the human interaction involved on a daily basis. They had to create a sharing style serve inspired by the conviviality & nature of the 'Human Spirit' of working as a bartender. We at Cocktails For You believe competitions that enforce the values of our profession are the way forward when it comes to the future of the bartending community. The whole competition kicked off with a day of workshops in Milan, Italy with seminars from industry leaders such as Erik Lorincz, ex-head bartender of The American Bar at The Savoy hotel & owner of Kwãnt bar, as well as Monica Berg, co-founder of the Pour Symposium & co-owner of Tayer +Elementary, both talking about the trials & tribulations of owning a cocktail bar, developing the concept, making the drinks & the business side of the operation. There was also an hands-on masterclass from Matteo Bonoli, the master herbalist from Amaro Montenegro, who uncovered for us the secrets behind the production process of Amaro Montenegro as well their secret ingredients.
The Competition itself! The stage was set, the light were on & palms were sweaty as the finalists were called on stage to present their works of art in from the stern judging panel. So lets dive into the nitty gritty... 1st Competitor - Janneke Koorn - Netherlands Janneke had the difficult task of opening the competition up & handled it like an absolute champion through & through. One of the most unique serves I've ever seen in a cocktail competition with the cocktail served in a Shisha pipe instead of glassware. Find the link between the sharing concept of sitting around a Shisha pipe with friends & relaxing. To dispel any negative connotations between Shisha & drinking Janneke mention a famous artist that stated that everything you view is just a matter of perspective. Bliss!
2nd Competitor - Adam Lau - Australia Adam was the most jet-lagged competitor on the day & it was also his birthday on the day of the competition. Nothing dissuaded him from completely rocking the stage though with his natural charm, witty jokes about how much tea he drinks & its origins in China & the link between his cocktail as well as Earl Grey Tea. Carbonated in a SodaSteam with a fragrant candied lemon garnish to boot! He wants his cocktail to become a champion for this cause.
3rd Competitor - Zachary Sapato - USA Zachary is an absolute gem of a human being as his preparation time was almost a presentation in itself. Down to Earth, relatable & always smiling Zachary turn the competition on his head as he has batched his cocktail in a special container & served it within 30 seconds of starting his presentation. As the judges sipped on their cocktails & enjoyed the shared experience he entertained us with his Bella Figura cocktail that was stirred down with Lavender tea ice in the process.
4th Competitor - Roger Grüter - Switzerland Calm, collected & with a nice dry sense of humour to boot Roger was a chemical technician for almost 10 years before finding his true calling as a bartender. Serving his drink is an Absinthe Fountain with dry ice to help keep the cocktail cool it was definitively a great way to bring people together. Roger is like a great warm hug in a cold winters day.
5th Competitor - Rodrigo Alvarez - Spain Rodrigo brought some Spanish flair to the stage with the classic Spanish throw as the technique of the hour. His unique take of the cocktail involved using absolutely frozen Amaro Montenegro in mixed with a diluted drink from beforehand & inspired by Elena of Montenegro th original inspiration behind the amaro itself.
6th Competitor - Marco Masiero- Italy The many, the myth & most definitely the legend who went out to make the the world a cocktail. Served in a glass globe it marked the route of the creator of Amaro Montenegro founder using ingredients based on the locations he travelled to. Give the world a cocktail & the world with love you back!
7th Competitor - Marcus Fredriksson - Sweden Another bartender re-born who found his calling after working in the film industry most of his life. A friendly giant with such a down-to-Earth concept around his cocktail named 'Around the Corner' that uses things that you can find literally around the bar where he works in. The idea of sharing is linked to bars & food you usually find around the corner from your house. Interestingly using seaweed in his cocktail!
8th Competitor - Jules Verlinden - Belgium Starting with a metaphor between himself & the story of the ugly duckling Jules has had an uphill battle as he has spent the last 13 years working in his family restaurant. His drink went into a different direction to many of the other competitors using Cachaca & a smoking gun with cinnamon. Bottling the drink is an uniquely designed wine bottle to be served table-side!
9th Competitor - Simone De Milito - Germany A fish out of water & an Italian working in Germany. Simone's interpretation of the ideology was represented in a gold flaked wooden plank that was embedded with a carafe with his drink inspired by the story of Amaro Montenegro.
10th Competitor - Kevin Umami - Albania
The first to use a punchbowl in the competition from a time forgotten. Kevin was inspired by the convivial theory of punch as a social instrument back in the glory days. Referencing the history behind the name of Punch being the Indian word five & using five ingredients. The master herbalist Matteo himself said that it was one of the best cocktails he's had in a while!
11th Competitor - Cristiana Pirinu - UK Cristiana brought life & freshness towards the end of the long day with her cocktail 'The Seven Notes' based on the seven flavour notes of Amaro Montenegro. With her Italian background we work around the idea of sharing moments as they do in Italy with an aperitivo. Delicious!
12th Competitor - Johanna Luger - Austria Closing the competition was the youngest competitor in the lineup but don't let that mislead you. Looking beyond the surface into the history of Elena of Montenegro during her time serving for the Red Cross in WW1. Simplicity was key in her cocktail simply named "Elena" that combined Amaro Montenegro, Chilli & Strawberry juice, lemon juice & sugar syrup. Served in a cast iron tea kettle to give tribute to the tradition of coming together to drink tea together. Genuine & delicious!
The Winning Recipe Name: Around the Corner Ingredients: 50ml Amaro Montenegro 30ml Lacto-Fermented Apple Juice 15ml Walnut Honey 20ml Seaweed infused Vermouth 3 Drops of Saline Solution Garnish: Dried Apple Crisps Glassware: Apple Pot